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Sermon Notes: 11/20/22

Set a Stone

Pastor Albert Almore


“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.””

‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭7‬:‭12‬

Thus far, thus far, the Lord has helped us.

Another translation puts it like this,

‬‬Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer (which means “the stone of help”), for he said, “Up to this point the LORD has helped us!” 1 Samuel 7:12

I want to speak to you today from this subject…

SET A STONE

As we prepare to head into Thanksgiving, this message is appropriate. This message is timely. The Bible says that Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us. This is EVERYTHING. This is everything because Samuel teaches us in this moment, to take time to remember all that the Lord has done. Last week we took a look at Paul and how he was caught up in a horrific storm. Many times that’s how the enemy fights us. He comes in with a loud horrific storm that often catches us off guard. Often the spiritual battle, and the spiritual storm is so intense that we can’t even think straight in the moment, and that’s exactly what Satan wants us. He doesn’t want us thinking clear. He doesn’t want us thinking sober. He doesn’t want us thinking sound. He wants our minds off balance as often as possible and here’s why….

📝 The enemy doesn’t want you to bring your MEMORY to the battle.

The enemy doesn’t want you to bring your MEMORY to the battle.

He doesn’t want you to remember all that God has done. He doesn’t want you to remember how God has been faithful. He wants you to feel all alone. He wants you to feel forgotten about and abandoned by your God, but that’s not true.

The enemy doesn’t want you to bring your MEMORY to the battle because he knows that…

📝 When you remember all that God HAS DONE, it strengthens you for all that God WILL DO.

When you remember all that God HAS DONE, it strengthens you for all that God WILL DO.

This is why Lamentations 3:21 says,

📝 "This I RECALL TO MY MIND, Therefore I have hope.”

‭‭Lamentations‬ ‭3‬:‭21‬

That’s what David did when it was time to fight Goliath. David recalled to mind all that God had already done, and it strengthened him for what God was getting ready to do. David didn’t just bring a slingshot to the battlefield, HE BROUGHT HIS MEMORY! He RECALLED to Saul what He’d seen the Lord do and it gave David HOPE.

“And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.””

‭‭I Samuel‬ ‭17‬:‭33‬ ‭‬‬

“But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it.”

‭‭I Samuel‬ ‭17‬:‭34‬-‭35‬ ‭‬‬

“Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.””

‭‭I Samuel‬ ‭17‬:‭36‬ ‭‬‬

“Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!””

‭‭I Samuel‬ ‭17‬:‭37‬ ‭‬‬

“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up BETWEEN Mizpah and Shen…

‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭7‬:‭12‬

David first arrived to the battle scene in verse 20. David went head up with Goliath in verse 48. In verse 34, right in the middle of verses 20 and verse 48 David began to set a stone of all that the Lord has done. He placed an Ebenezer between him and the battle, and he reminded himself, "Up to this point the LORD has helped me.”

“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “THUS FAR the Lord has helped us.””

‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭7‬:‭12‬

THUS FAR. THUS FAR.

📝 Draw strength from HOW FAR He’s brought you.

📝 Stop focusing on how far YOU HAVE TO GO, and start focusing on how far YOU’VE COME.

“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up BETWEEN Mizpah and Shen…

‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭7‬:‭12‬

Set a stone between where you’ve come from to where you’re going.

Set a stone in the middle for when you get weary. Set a stone in the middle for when you get tired. Set a stone in the middle for when you get perplexed, you can look back over your shoulder and say thus far, the Lord has helped us! Up to this point the LORD has helped us!”

As Joshua and the children of Israel MIRACULOUSLY crossed the Jordan that was at flood stage, Joshua said before we finish crossing over, I want to mark this moment. Go grab twelve stones from out of the Jordan. Go grab twelve stones from the place that was once deemed as impossible. Joshua‬ ‭4:20-21 says,

“And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’”

‭‭Joshua‬ ‭4:20-21‬ ‭

“tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over.”

‭‭Joshua‬ ‭4:22-23‬ ‭

Set a stone to go back to remind yourself as well as the future generations to come that….

📝 He’s BEEN Good.

📝 He IS Good.

📝 He WILL be good.

This is what the Lord HAS DONE, and this is what we’re believing for the Lord TO DO!

When the enemy comes in like a flood. As the storms began to rage, and as the winds of life began to blow. When the enemy tries to catch you off guard…

📝 Don’t just gather YOUR THOUGHTS, gather A STONE.

Anytime the enemy begins to whisper you’re not worthy, or you’re not qualified, or you’ll never do all that you say y’all are going to do—I BEGAN TO SET A STONE!

Thus far hasn’t the Lord helped us Church?

From day one, God has caused us to grow.

Since the conception of Motion Church God has granted us favor. In the midst of EVERY SPIRITUAL STORM, He’s provided us with divine protection. In the face of attack, after attack, after attack, He’s provided strength for us to endure. When COVID hit and we weren’t able to gather at the school, and we didn’t know which way to go. He made a way out of no way!When people told me that banks would never loan us money until we were at least 5 years old, He said son I got you, and HE DID IT!

He provided us with a beautiful church to come worship and to gather. He provided us with 9.2 acres of land to grow and to expand. In the midst of COVID when they were telling everyone to save, and to play it safe, we were able give away $25,000 in the midst of the pandemic. As our children’s ministry began to grow, even though they said a bank would never loan us money until we were 5, we were able to get a 2nd loan for our Motion Kids addition. We were able to place basketball courts on our grounds to provide a safe place for students to gather. God has blessed us not with just one, but two vans. God enlarged our tent and we had to go to 3 services. On top of all of this on August 24th, 2022 we opened the doors to our very own Agape Community Preschool, where we’re serving 43 families, we’re giving away $7,000 in scholarships, children are learning about Jesus, worship, prayer, as well as academics. God has blessed us our preschool with an AMAZING staff that loves Jesus, believes in this vision, and believes in this generation. This morning I didn’t just come to preach a message, I’VE COME TO SET A STONE!!!

What I just shared with you is where we’ve been. Our new church facility is where we’re going! Some days it’s hard. Some days the vision seems difficult. Some days the new church seems distant, but today I’ve come to set a stone! I’ve come to set up an Ebenezer and to tell us not to grow weary in well doing because in due season we shall reap if we faint not! We turn 4 years old, December 4th, in just a couple of weeks. During this 4 year span, we have given away over $300,000 to over 60 OUTREACH PARTNERS. All I can say is THUS FAR the Lord has helped us. Up to this point the LORD has helped us!

SO WHEN YOUR CHILDREN IN MOTION KIDS, OR IN FUEL ASK YOU, WHAT DO THESE STONES MEAN TO YOU? You tell them with tears in your eyes, "Absolutely EVERYTHING.” These stones mean to me that…

He’s BEEN Good.

He IS Good.

He WILL be good.

Set a stone.

I know life is difficult. I know the journey isn’t easy. When life tries to get the best of you—SET A STONE.

When you remember all that God HAS DONE, it strengthens you for all that God WILL DO.

“This I RECALL TO MY MIND, Therefore I have hope.”

‭‭Lamentations‬ ‭3‬:‭21‬

“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.””

‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭7‬:‭12‬

THUS FAR. THUS FAR.

Draw strength from HOW FAR He’s brought you. Set a stone. Set a stone.

📝 I WILL REMEMBER the works of the LORD; yes, I will remember Your wonders of old. Psalm 77:11

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